SOCI 3701

Course Handouts

Best way to contact me is via email:
Phone, leave message only: 678-2611
Office hours: T12:50-1:50 or by appointment.

The title of this course, “Individual and Society” can be construed as a code name for Sociological Social Psychology. The term is a construct used by sociologists to frame social psychology from a sociological perspective. The term is political and the territories are aggressively defended. Unlike the psychological model of social psychology, sociological social psychology emphasizes the social and cultural aspects of identity and social interaction. This course is organized around a model of social psychology which takes into consideration three spheres of everyday life: the body, identity, and society. These are not the only three realms that exist, but your instructor considers this conceptualization to be broadly inclusive for the purposes of providing the class participant with an overview of social psychology from a sociological perspective. The readings will serve as a spring board for discussion, and we will be mindful at all times to consider how we might go about applying the concepts in our readings to a data set or to everyday life.

DISCLAIMER- Due to the nature of the content of this course, (specifically I cover topics like trauma, stigma, life course development, and emotions) I advise you to be responsible for and to consider your own well being in regards to these materials. Some people can be “triggered” or upset by these topics, the readings, and the discussions we will have in class. It is my hope that we will conduct the class in a manner which will construct a “container” safe enough to explore the material so that we all walk away with an in depth understanding of the general topics and concepts. This course is not, however, therapy. Your professor is not a licensed psychologist.

If you have recently been involved in a major emotional upheaval in your life I would ask you to strongly consider whether or not taking this course is right for you this semester. Psychological services are available for you over at Wilder Tower; it is something you pay for every semester. Therapy is wonderful, with the right person, and I strongly encourage you to seek support when you need it. It is also a great learning experience!

REQUIRED TEXTS: Inner Lives and Social Worlds: Readings in Social Psychology. 2002. Edited by James A. Holstein and Jaber F. Gubrium. Oxford University Press. ISBN: 0195147278
Trauma and Recovery. 1997. Judith Herman. NY: BasicBooks. ISBN: 0-465-08730-2
Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self. 1997. Alice Miller
Basic Books. ISBN: 0-465-01690-1
Foucault for Beginners. 1993. Lydia Alex Fillingham. Writers and Readers.
ISBN 0-86316-160-x

ON LINE RESOURCES: Steven Lyng. Edgework article. The Mead Project. Social Psychology Network. David Baldwin’s Trauma Information Pages. Violence and Childhood: How Persisting Fear Can Alter the Developing Child’s Brain. Bruce Perry, M.D. Ph.D. To be found on David Baldwin’s Trauma Information Pages, under articles.

COURSE STRUCTURE: The readings will be our spring-board for class lectures and discussion. You are required to keep up with the readings and will be responsible for these as well as class lectures.

A liberal arts education means literally to "liberate" your mind. Discussion is of the utmost importance. You have paid money to be sitting here. DO NOT ALLOW ME TO LECTURE WITHOUT ASKING QUESTIONS IF YOU ARE CONFUSED OR UNCLEAR ON THE MATERIALS. Unfortunately, this happens frequently in theory courses. Let me emphasize, only VICTIMS allow this to happen to them. If you are having problems, chances are someone else is too! It is through discussion that understanding is achieved.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Primary Evaluations for grades are based on three unit quizzes and a minimum of three modest writing assignments. Please take note of the grading scale:
A = 100 - 90% B = 89 - 80% C = 79 - 65% D = 64 - 58% F = below 58%

QUIZZES (all 3 required): Each of the three quizzes is multiple-choice in character, worth 32, 32, and 30 points, for a potential total of 94 points of your grade. These quizzes will be based upon the unit material most recently covered.

MODEST WRITING ASSIGNMENTS (3 of 5 required): During the course of the semester, I will ask the class to participate in mini-experiments and write up their reflections on these experiences. Each paper is worth two points for a potential total of 6 points of your grade. I will offer at least five opportunities to do papers. Students have the choice of which three of the five they would like to participate in. All five may be done, and the last two would count as extra credit towards the grade. If you do not attend the class that the assignment is given in, you may not hand in a paper. There is no “making up” a paper (thus my logic for 5 chances to write). If you fail to turn in three papers you will lose one letter grade per missing paper. For instance, if you have a grade of B at the end of the semester, but have handed in only two papers, you will earn a C. If you have a grade of B at the end of the semester but you only handed in one paper, in this situation you would earn a D.

EXTRA-CREDIT THEORY APPLICATIONS (OPTIONAL): You are allowed to submit up to three 2-3 page papers, each using a different theorist we have discussed in class. Each paper will be worth 2 points for a maximum value of 6 points for the whole assignment. I will not be neurotic picky on this, quality counts more than quantity. Using a one-inch margin, type written double spaced page consists of about 250 words. You are invited to take things you encounter in your daily life and analyze them in terms of the theories you will pick up in class. I will elaborate more on this in class. You may use your experience, newspaper articles, books, CNN, movies, MTV, songs, a story your friend told you happened to her, ANY kind of experience. Have fun with this. Incorporate as many terms as possible, using them correctly; do not just identify the idea, but demonstrate how it is functioning in the example.

Do not repeat specific class examples, you will get no credit. If, however, you notice one of the concepts we learn about at work in class, this is fair game. Neatness will count one point per entry. If you are a slob genius, you could still lose a total of 3 points on the assignment. If you want to run a sample journal entry by me before the date of your first exam, I will be willing to critique it (no hard and fast grade).

PARTICIPATION (OPTIONAL): Upon handing in your last quiz, I will look at your face. If it is a face that constantly adds to class discussion, I will add two points to your grade. If it is a face that occasionally contributes, I will add one point.

ATTENDANCE (OPTIONAL, unless you receive federal funding to attend classes, we will discuss in class what this means): You are an adult. You pay your money, you decide if you want to attend. I will, however, take attendance for two purposes. If you have perfect attendance after the first week of class, three points will be assigned to your grade, equivalent to the weight of answering three exam questions correctly. If you only miss one or two periods during this time, I will assign two extra credit points. Miss three periods and I will assign one point of extra credit. Students who miss more than this number of classes (my second purpose) will have a great deal of trouble gaining sympathy if they are not doing well in the class. We can talk about your absences if you are in a dire situation. I must assume, however, if you choose not to attend and you do poorly, that you are choosing to do poorly and I need not put forth any effort on your behalf.

MAKEUP EXAMS: Make up exams are permitted with proper documentation and are to be scheduled with the instructor. You must contact the instructor and her assistant ONE WEEK after missing an exam or forfeit the opportunity to make it up.

ACADEMIC DISHONESTY: University of Memphis has a comprehensive policy regarding academic dishonesty such as plagiarism, cheating and impersonation. The policy can be found on-line at:  Get clear on these definitions. I PROSECUTE ACADEMIC DISHONESTY AGGRESSIVELY.

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE-can and probably will be changed at any time!

January 17. Getting Started.

19. What is an individual? A society? Experiment 1: “Watching our minds.” Please read
Inner lives and Social Worlds, (ILSW) pages 1-25.

24. IDENTITY. Who are you? What is a self? Leon Festinger and Cognitive Dissonance,
George Herbert Mead and Symbolic Interactionism. ILSW pages 50-77. Paper Due,
“Watching our minds.” Start Experiment 2: “Doing Nothing.”

26. More Interactionist theories. ILSW pages 107-175.

31. Paper due, “Doing nothing,” debrief.

February 2. Read The Drama of the Gifted Child, part 1, pages 1-68. Experiment 3: Who is that in
the Mirror? Extra experiment option, nude vs. naked.

7. Read The Drama of the Gifted Child, part 2, pages 69-126.

9. No class, Carol is attending a conference.

14. Review/Catch-up day

16. Quiz 1

21. SOCIETY. Deviance and rule breaking. Harold Garfinkel. Experiment 4: Breaching Experiment. Paper Due from Experiment 3. Debrief.

23. Continued

28. Paper Due, Debrief. Emotions. Arlie Hochschild. ILSW pages 202-243.

March 2. Society and the Body. Read Foucault for Beginners. Be sure to understand the ideas of
Surveillance and Knowledge as power.

7 and 9. Spring Break

14. Gender. Andrea Dworkin, Chinese foot binding. Read ILSW pages 384-426, 558-580.
Please look at also: and

16. Race. Read ILSW pages 341-382

21. Review/Catch-up day

23. Quiz 2

28. Aging. Read ILSW pages 428-450 and 458-485.

30. Aging dancers. Read ILSW pages 451-457.

April 4. THE BODY. Guest speaker: Dr. Cliff Heegel, Licensed Psychologist. Topic: Attachment and Brain Development. Theory applications are due at the end of the class period. No late turn-ins, no exceptions.

Please read  Violence and Childhood: How Persisting Fear Can Alter the Developing Child’s Brain. Bruce Perry, M.D. Ph.D. To be found on David Baldwin’s Trauma Information Pages, under articles.

6. Read Trauma and Recovery, Part I, Traumatic disorders.

11. Trauma and Recovery, part II, Stages of Recovery. Experiment 5, “Death as your advisor.” Paper options 1, 2, 3.

13. Extreme Living. Read Edgework: A Social Psychological Analysis of Voluntary Risk Taking, by Steven Lyng. From Sociological Abstracts, JSTOR article, American Journal of Sociology: Vol 95, No.4 P.581.

18. Investigating Subjectivity -- articles to be assigned.

20. Review/Catch-up day

25. Quiz three. Last day of class.

REMINDER: Make up quizzes permitted only when:
1. You have an excuse I have approved.
2. You have documentation for that excuse.
3. You contact me before one week has passed after missing the quiz. NO EXCEPTIONS!